Monday, September 5, 2011

All the Rage

The popularity of dystopian, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction does not seem to be abating. Books, movies, and T.V shows with dark themes are all the rage these days for teens and even adults. What is the difference between each of these genres and why are they so appealing to our young adults?

In simple terms dystopian fiction is the creation of a nightmare world often in a repressive and controlled state, apocalyptic fiction deals with the end of civilization because of a catastrophe such as a pandemic or nuclear warfare, and post apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after a disaster where society has had to reform itself. 

Due to the explosion of these genres it is difficult to know what books to include in your school library collection, what to recommend to students, and how to incorporate them into the curriculum. To begin with, here are a few books and resources that I would suggest checking out.

Trash by Andy Mulligan (2010) Grades 6-8

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude (2010)  Grades 7-10

What Happened To Serenity by PJ Sarah Collins (2011) Canadian Author. Grades 5-8
Life As We Knew It Trilogy (2010/2011) Grades 7-10

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (2011) Grades 9-12

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Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. Grades 7-11

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. Grades 7-11

Internet Resources

Teacher, Study and Discussion Guides for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In.

School Library Journal: Focus on Dystopia: Turn on the Dark

YALSA has an excellent post on their blog of Dystopian vs Post-apocalyptic teen books along with a few recommendations.

Comprehensive List of YA dystopian books

Saskatchewan Curriculum Connections
  • English Language Arts: Imaginative and literary context, and environmental and technological context
  • Social Studies: Dynamic Relationships, Power and Authority

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